Best Places to Work: These select financial services firms get frequent mention in surveys of the best employers. However, note that individual experiences can vary widely.
Big 4 Public Accounting Firms often receive high marks today, yet they have long histories of being high-turnover work environments in which staff was treated as disposable. In any case, they offer excellent experience that can enhance a resume.
Northwestern Mutual cultivates highly-loyal sales staff, with a particular focus on developing lifetime employees from the ranks of recent college graduates.
Prudential is another insurance company that turns up high on surveys of the best places to work. Note that, like many of its peers, Prudential is a highly bureaucratic organization and thus may not appeal to everyone.
Chubb is a leading insurer that also regularly gets favorable mention for its workplace policies and employee relations.
Goldman Sachs remains the most respected name on Wall Street, and is noteworthy for a high degree of employee loyalty and morale. Of course, Goldman Sachs is also a firm that expects much of its employees, and reciprocates with generous pay plans. Women should note that Forbes magazine ("Terminated: Why the Women of Wall Street Are Disappearing," March 16, 2009) notes that Goldman Sachs was the only leading Wall Street firm to respond to its request for statistics on female officers, reporting that their numbers have grown significantly in the past three years (female vice presidents, including executive directors, up by 21% and female managing directors up by 45%).
Raymond James operates under a business model that maximizes financial advisor autonomy.
Banco Popular is the largest Hispanic-oriented financial institution in the U.S.
Wells Fargo is the strongest of the large national banks. It also regularly receives strong marks for its employee development and retention programs.
The best places to work for financial advisors are the subject of a J.D. Power and Associates survey summarized in this link.
FORTUNE Best Companies 2010: Also see FORTUNE magazine's annual list of the best companies to work for, many of which are in the financial services industry, or which have need for financial talent.